Red Umbrella Sweden

Swedish community and advocacy for sex workers

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Who we are

Red Umbrella Sweden is a Swedish organisation advocating for the rights, safety, justice and self determination of sex workers. All our members are current or former sex workers with lived experience of doing sex work. No one else is allowed to become a member.

As an organisation our two main focuses are community building and advocacy.  


Community

Our members run a thriving community where sex workers can get peer-support, take part in meet-ups and workshops, and organize together for rights. Members can get peer support and advice 24/7 through our very active online forum.

We believe that breaking the isolation and uniting Swedish sex workers is key to a strong sex worker movement and a starting point for ensuring more sex workers’ voices are heard in the Swedish debate.


Advocacy

In our advocacy we focus on raising awareness of sex workers’ situation and of the negative impact of the Swedish model. The Swedish model endangers, isolates and infantilizes sex workers. Our voices are silenced and excluded from the debate, from involvement in policy making on issues of sex work, and sex workers’ rights and needs. We question the narrative spread by the Swedish government that this is something positive.  

We also want to draw attention to the two tier system the Swedish model has created where sex workers who are Swedish nationals, at least in theory, have the right to financial support, health and mental health care, social services and various ways to exit the sex industry. Migrant and mobile sex workers are excluded from all of this. Migrant sex workers are also routinely equated with victims of trafficking and are targeted by police as well as robbed of agency in the public debate.

We advocate for a full decriminalisation of sex work; including sex workers, clients, third parties, families, partners and friends.


Our values / What we advocate for:
  • The full decriminalisation of sex work 

  • The right to speak for ourselves

  • Sex workers' rights to family and privacy

  • Workers' rights

  • Migrant’s and BIPoC’s rights

  • LGBTQIA rights

  • Feminism that includes all women

  • The rights of differently abled people

  • The rights of people who use drugs

  • The rights of people living with HIV

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Our launch message 2020-12-09:
Our history

In 2017 sex workers in Sweden started Fuckförbundet. Since then, the organisation has grown to provide daily peer-to-peer support to more than 130 sex workers. By amplifying the voices of sex workers we have challenged the Swedish Model and the stigma against sex workers in the Swedish and international debate.

The members have hosted an international conference, created and exhibited art, written a report and marched for our rights at Pride. Above all, we have been an organisation where sex workers have come together, shared our stories, supported each other, and not only advocated for, but created change.

The fight for the rights of sex workers hasn’t been easy and we have learned a lot along the way. We will never give up this struggle!

Our future

Unfortunately, as the organisation grew, it became apparent that there were some conflicting views and opinions about things like organisational structuring and focus that we weren’t able to resolve within the community.

Consequently a new organisation has been born, with a strengthened structure, reinforced anti racist and democratic values and a continued urge to fight for sex workers rights.

We have been working towards this since summer and we are proud of the resilience and hard work of our members. We are also thankful for the support and expert advice we have been given from both allies in Sweden and sex worker organisations from all over the world. 

Our name

After a long debate, the final vote for our new name took place on December 9th and today we proudly present ourselves to the world:

We are Red Umbrella Sweden.

The Red Umbrella has been the worldwide symbol of the sex workers’ rights movement since 2001. Red is the colour of love and has long been connected to sex work. The umbrella symbolises shelter, community and protection from stigma and abuse.

Our future cooperation with you

Red Umbrella Sweden are looking forward to working with you. Together we can create a future where sex workers’ human rights are respected, in Sweden and internationally!

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